30. The Killers – “Run For Cover”
This year The Killers released their 5th studio album Wonderful, Wonderful, promising a return to their edgier more old-fashioned sound than the rather listless Battle Born. It didn’t quite pull of another classic, but “Run For Cover” is definitely a rock song in the old Killers mould. It’s frenetic, high-energy pace gives the song a lot of life, and it still allows for a solid dancefloor shuffle too. The way it finishes off with the level of drama that matches the Killers’ fan favourites elevate the song to the best on the album.
29. Jax Jones – “House Work” (feat. Mike Dunn & MNEK)
Jax Jones is the 3rd most featured artist on this year’s list, with three tremendous singles coming out and showing his tremendous potential as a producer. “House Work” is probably the one that’s truest to his roots as a pure house producer, and it’s simple but effective delivery is very satisfying. It’s got the deep and bassy tones to it that make it an underground song, but then MNEK comes in and does his magic to help bring it to a lighter side as well. Very good, and definitely up there with some of this other work this year (which you’ll see later on!)
28. LCD Soundsystem – “tonite”
At their core LCD Soundsystem make alternative dance music, and “tonite” is one of the best examples of this on their new album. It’s got the rambling lyrics that many of the other tunes have, but it’s got a groovy disco-inspired background to it that makes it a lot of fun. It’s reminiscent of old Franz Ferdinand songs in many ways, in it’s delivery and it’s style, but done in a way with a bit more glitz and synths rather than guitars. It’s up for the Grammy for Best Dance Recording, so hopefully it’ll bring home LCD’s first ever win there.
27. Kesha – “Learn to Let Go”
Before this year’s #MeToo movement really took off, Kesha was already undergoing a years-long court battle against her abuser Max Martin where she was prevented from making music. Thankfully she was able to get back to music this year though, and “Learn to Let Go” is her strongest statement about not only getting through the worst moments but, profoundly, moving on from them. There’s lots of strong life advice in this track, and as a pop song it’s very solid as well.
26. LCD Soundsystem – “other voices”
Many of the songs on LCD’s new record sounded as though they took some inspiration from the last album’s “Pow Pow”, but this is up at the top. It’s a bit of a rambling song, but has a great melody going on behind it all and some nice memorable moments – including Nancy Whang getting a verse all to herself.
25. Cheat Codes – “No Promises” (feat. Demi Lovato)
2017 marked a return to the mainstream for Demi Lovato, and while she has some big hits this one was more of a sleeper. Her vocals make a somewhat ordinary dance song that little more interesting and the breakdown makes it a dancefloor song that’s better than most that came out this year.
24. Little Mix – “Power”
Little Mix are another guilty pleasure of mine, and pretty much every song they put out is catchy and fun. This one has a hint of menace to it, and that adds an extra something that works really well. The drop to it makes it even more fun and it’s always a joy to hear when it has it’s turn on the radio.
23. Tove Lo – “Disco Tits”
Tove Lo’s music has always had a sexually-charged flavour, but goes all out on this Peaches-inspired track: “Disco Tits”. It’s repetitive, dark but has an alluring beat and the intrigue of explicit lyrics to keep you listening. Radio-friendly it is not, but you’ll find yourself wanting to listen to it again and again.
22. Lorde – “Supercut”
Another super tune from Lorde’s Melodrama, “Supercut” is a song that starts out and ends slow, but does a good job of ramping things up in the bridges, with the stream-of-consciousness, almost rap, elements being really strong. The emotion of the song is typical of all the Melodrama songs, with the imagery behind the “supercut” idea being exceptional too.
21. Selena Gomez – “Bad Liar”
With a riff borrowed from the Talking Heads “Psycho Killer” and lyrics from songwriting superstar Julia Michaels, Selena Gomez’ sweet vocals add to a perfect ingredients list for this song. It flows like a conversation, and has it’s awkward phases that fit the song perfectly.